I thought that for a change this month I would take you on a little bit of armchair travel. I know that many of us are gardening more in these unsettled times, and, like me, if you have travelled, you will be reflecting on times spent in other places which are often far from home.
I was speaking to Geoff Genge of Marshwood Gardens in Invercargill on Thursday and he said that he had been inundated with plant orders since the announcement on Tuesday evening about our new lockdown measures.
Photo 1: This photo was taken a year ago in a private garden in the Loire region in France. I enjoy this tranquil, understated setting. Photo: M. Long
Photo 2: The entrance to our B&B accommodation in the Loire. There is a lot of attention to detail in this simple setting of a large traditional French house. The owner took me for a walk in her cellar. I was intrigued to see a beautiful chandelier there, and when I commented on it she said that they had held a wedding reception in the cellar. M. Long
Photo 3: A corner of our garden in Normandy in France. This old olive tree was bought from a nearby nursery. A friend who was staying with us remarked that “one of those lovely old olive trees that we saw in pots at the local nursery would look great in your garden.” And so it does, I think. It certainly looks as if it has been there for a very long time, not just a few days, which was the reality. M. Long
Photo 4: This photo was taken a few years ago in the attractive old town of Orvietto in Italy. The abundant planting of Star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, gave a delightful fragrance in this shady street on a hot day. The abundant greenery was also inviting. M.Long
Photo 5: A corner in a private garden in Slovenia. I always enjoy looking at this scene with the exquisite table setting which was arranged for our visit. M. Long
Some changes have been made at Frensham over the past week. The willow trees which provided a shelter belt on the northern boundary were removed on Friday morning. What a positive difference this has made. We now get glimpses to the hills and tree plantings on our neighbours’ property, and there is much more garden space for us in the woodland.
Our staggered planting of trees and shrubs, with some to be added, will now give an informal and soft edging to the northern boundary of the garden.
Criss-cross wooden trellising which has formed the windows of the summerhouse for as long as we have been here, has now been removed. Instantly the garden now has beautiful views offered from within the summerhouse looking out, and from various angles looking across to the summerhouse
Information including subject matter and costs of my re-launched publication, The Gardener’s Journal, was sent last week to those who have registered interest in the publication. If you would like to receive this information please let me know
Grapefruit and Ginger Teacake: Marilyn McRae
This is a decades old recipe that can be made with lemon or lime if you don’t eat grapefruit.
Delicious served warm with cream or thick yoghurt… coconut yoghurt perhaps?
1 c flour
1 rounded tsp baking powder
1/2 c sugar
60g butter, cold
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c grapefruit juice
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line a 17cm round cake tin.
Soft the flour into a bowl, add the sugar and stir to combine. Rub in the butter.
Add the eggs to form a soft dough and press half into the prepared tin.
Place the filling ingredients in a small pot and cook over a low heat until thick.
Pour the hot filling into the tin and crumble over the remaining base mix.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes
Can be eaten cold if there’s any left!
Our relaxed country garden started twenty nine years ago. In the early days I had very little gardening experience and no vision for the site, but an interest in plants was quickly developing. Over the years, with much trial and error, a garden has emerged which we and our visitors do enjoy.
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139 Old Tai Tapu Rd, Christchurch 8025, New Zealand
+64 3 3228 061